How to Integrate Holistic Strategies Into Clinical Practice Safely and Effectively

Mar 30, 2021

Are you a new holistic therapist working in the traditional clinical field? How can you safely integrate holistic strategies into a clinical setting? Which clients can you introduce to holistic therapeutic practices in a way that is best for you and for them?

IN THIS PODCAST:

  • How to overcome the nerves
  • Getting started with holistic strategies in your clinical practice
  • Which clients to introduce to holistic strategies

HOW TO OVERCOME THE NERVES

Something I learned from my yoga practice, which applies to any new strategy, is to become comfortable with it, and that means practice.

To make it the most effective treatment you need to develop a personal practice with it to get comfortable with it to do it right early.

The best way to become accustomed and confident with any new skill is to practice it. Spend time working on it alone and then practice it alongside people close to you such as family members, partners, friends, and even colleagues.

Working on your new skill with people who are unfamiliar with it is an incredibly good way to learn how to introduce it to a new class or client one day, and to prepare yourself for the kinds of potential struggles and issues a brand-new client may have.

Another bonus of practicing often is that you can inform your clients of the benefits that you have experienced firsthand due to your daily routine, meditations, yoga, and so forth. Your clients will be more willing and optimistic to follow your advice and wisdom when they see that you practice what you preach.

GETTING STARTED WITH HOLISTIC STRATEGIES IN YOUR CLINICAL PRACTICE

I learned the importance of building on the trust and the relationships you have with your client first before recommending different kinds of practices and treatments.

Ease into it, take your time to get to know your client and for them to become accustomed to you before jumping into any strategies that would be completely new for them.

SOME TIPS:

  • If you are practicing in person, make sure that your counseling space is welcoming, soothing, and comfortable for your client to try new things in. If you intend to incorporate movement-based practices such as yoga into the treatment, make sure to inform your clients to wear comfortable clothing.
  • If you are practicing over telehealth, be aware of the space behind you and make that space as visually pleasing or soothing as possible. Keep your space clear, clean, and together.

When you are starting your sessions, whether in-person or over telehealth:

  • Start your counseling session with some kind of ritual such as lighting a candle, using essential oils, or starting with some grounding and breathwork before diving into whatever it is they would like to talk about. Explore this idea with your clients and see who is more interested in adding this into their practice.
  • You can gently explain the benefits of a ritual before each session, and what to expect such as the timeframe of the ritual.
  • Follow their non-verbal clues to see how they are interacting with the new practice.
  • Do not close your eyes: you want to be fully present and checking-in with your client.
  • After the ritual, tune-in with clients. See how they experienced it in their body or with their feelings. You can note whether or not to change anything in the future.

WHICH CLIENTS TO INTRODUCE TO HOLISTIC STRATEGIES

Look at that scale, the readiness-to-change scale. Those that are higher on there are willing to do anything are the ones you want to try it with …. Because some [other clients] may not be willing to do this … when you are starting out get those clients who are on a higher level of readiness to change.

In a way, working with clients who are more ready and open can also help you to build your confidence because you are working with a client who is more open to trying new things, who will ask some questions, and be excited to try something different.

Listen to those clients who talk about holistic practices they already do in their home or in their daily routines, because they may be open to trying new things or adding new things to their own routine.

Listen to the clients who feel stuck with their traditional talk-therapy because they may enjoy the different approaches to therapy that you can provide for them.

After the client leaves, check-in with yourself. Did you enjoy the practice? What can you do better or differently next time that is best for both you and the client?

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